Master of Arts and Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation

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Ready to make a bigger impact? Michigan State University's Masters in Program Evaluation and Certificate in Program Evaluation equip you with the skills to be a sought-after program evaluator. This rapidly growing field offers exciting opportunities to improve programs and shape policies in government, education, public health, human services, and beyond. Built for working professionals, our online programs allow you to fit your studies around your busy schedule — at an affordable cost. Keep reading for helpful information about our programs and follow us on LinkedIn.

The program evaluation masters and certificate classes are delivered entirely online by respected, accomplished evaluation professionals. As a student in this program, you'll consult with  faculty, exchange ideas with classmates, and complete knowledge and skill-building activities — all at locations and hours that are most convenient for you.

Also, as a masters student you will complete a two-semester supervised practicum where you'll work alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting to gain first-hand experience applying your learning from prior classes. Most importantly, in the end, you will have developed the skills needed for a successful evaluation career in local, state, and federal agencies, as well as the private sector.

Depending on space availability, courses are also open to individuals interested in taking one or more courses for the purpose of professional development.  

Click here to find out about the costs of the courses and programs.

Read more about the program evaluation masters, program evaluation certificate, and professional development options below.

  • Master of Arts in Program Evaluation

    Core Courses

    To earn a master's degree in program evaluation, students complete eight core content courses (24 credits) that cover:  

    • leading models and standards of professional evaluation practice.
    • quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method design and analysis for the evaluation context.
    • effective interpersonal and communication skills.
    • leading-edge dissemination and reporting strategies.
    • evaluation contracting and project management.


    Students also complete a practicum sequence (13 credits) that provides them with the opportunity to further develop their evaluation skills by immersion in a real-world setting in which evaluations are currently being conducted. Settings include government agencies, human service organizations, educational settings, healthcare organizations, and for-profit and non-profit evaluation firms.

    Program Duration

    As a full-time student, you'll earn your degree in only 16 months (four consecutive semesters). As a part-time student, you will follow an individualized plan of study that meets your needs. 


    The current cost of tuition for the M.A. in program evaluation is $32,190 ($870/credit hour). Rates are subject to change. Contact the MSU Financial Aid Office for information about financial assistance. Contact MSU Student Accounts for billing and payment information.

    The total cost for course materials (e.g., books) is approximately $1050. 


  • Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation

    The graduate certificate is designed to provide foundational knowledge and skills, while providing students with the flexibility to tailor the program to meet their unique educational needs. The graduate certificate is a good option for evaluation practitioners looking to advance their skills and credentials without committing the time and resources necessary to complete a master's degree. However, should your circumstances change, credits from the certificate program can be applied toward the master's degree. This means that once you complete the program evaluation certificate, you are already on your way to earning your program evaluation masters. 

    Required Courses

    To earn a program evaluation certificate, students complete four 3-credit courses (12 credits). As a certificate student, you would take:


    The current tuition cost for the program evaluation certificate is $10,440 ($870/credit hour). Rates are subject to change. Contact the MSU Financial Aid Office for information about financial assistance. Contact MSU Student Accounts for billing and payment information.

    The cost for course materials (e.g., books) is approximately $400.

  • Professional Development

    Not interested in pursuing a program evaluation masters or certificate, but would like to build your skills in a particular competency area? Any of the eight core content courses can be taken through MSU's Lifelong Education program. If you are interested in taking one or more of the courses as a non-degree seeking student, contact us regarding course availability and complete the MSU online Lifelong Education Application status through the university. 

    A limited number of credits taken while enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status may be applied to the MA or Certificate. Contact us for more information.


    The tuition rate is set by the Lifelong Education Program. The rate is listed on the MSU Controller's Office website. The cost for course materials (e.g., books) ranges from approximately $50 to $120. 

Q: How long does it take to complete the program evaluation masters?

A: The program evaluation master's degree can be completed in as few as 16 months. Most students finish the degree in 28 months. 

Q: How do program evaluation masters students who are working full-time balance those demands and the practicum?

A: Most of the students in the program evaluation masters program work full-time, and many do their practicum at their place of employment. Those whose place of employment is not an option for the practicum tend to either find a placement that will fit with their work schedule or adjust their work schedule to accommodate their practicum.

Q: Why are the program evaluation masters and certificate programs offered through the Department of Psychology? 

A: The program evaluation masters and certificate programs are offered through the Department of Psychology because many community psychologists conduct program evaluations. Read more about MSU's Ecological/Community Psychology area within the Ph.D. program here

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